Grant Forrest has new targets on his horizon

Grant Forrest is excited by what potentially lies in store in 2016
Grant Forrest is excited by what potentially lies in store in 2016
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Grant Forrest can’t wait to become a golfing globe-trotter at the start of his 2016 campaign.

The Craigielaw star is no stranger to travelling from his spell at the University of San Diego.

But he’s off to pastures new early next year after being picked for some exciting trips by Scottish Golf.

Along with fellow Walker Cup team-mates Jack McDonald and Ewen Ferguson as well as Connor Syme, Forrest is heading Down Under to compete in two events next month.

First up is the Australian Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne (January 6–9) then the Australian Men’s Amateur at Metropolitan and Peninsula-Kingswood (January 12–17).

The same quartet will then head to South Africa with eight other leading Scottish amateurs to play in four tournaments, starting with the Guateng North Open at Irene CC at the end of January.

The South African Stroke Play (February 2–5) at Blue Valley, the African Amateur Stroke Play (February 10–13) at Leopard Creek and the South African Amateur at George GC (February 28-March 4) are also on that schedule.

“I’ve never been to Australia or South Africa, so it’s going to be a very exciting start to 2016 and I’m looking forward to competing again,” admitted Forrest.

He’s just back from the United Arab Emirates, having spent a month based at Al Ain on a winter training camp organised by Scottish Golf.

“The camp was excellent,” added the 22-year-old, a former Scottish Amateur champion. “I’m very thankful to Scottish Golf and its sponsors for the opportunity to put in four weeks of hard practice.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do back here, so it makes such a difference getting perfect weather every day.”

Forrest also has two Spanish dates in his 2016 diary, joining forces with McDonald, Ferguson and Robert MacIntyre in the Nations Cup from February 23-27 then teeing up in the Spanish Amateur at Sevilla.

“Not at all,” he replied to being asked if he’d had any regrets about deciding to stay in the amateur ranks for another year after falling at the first stage in the European Tour Qualifying School.

“This year was a bit of a struggle, so it was not the right time to turn pro,” he added, referring to the fact his success in reaching the final of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie was the sole highlight on the individual front. In team events, he not only helped GB&I thump a strong US team in the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham but also played his part in Scotland becoming European champions.

“I learned a lot and I am confident that my preparation and schedule for 2016 is going to leave me better prepared for turning pro at the end of next year,” insisted Forrest.